Log Cabin Chronicles


© 2011 Gordon Alexander
Horse trainer Rebekah Bailey puts her English Suffolk Punch draft horses through their paces as a light snow falls on the Perry Farm in Brownington, Vermont

Gordon Alexander
Posted 02.02.11

BROWNINGTON, VT | The Perry Farm on Dutton Brook here hosted a winter horse-powered forestry featuring activities on January 29, 2011, that demonstrated and explored the use of horses in wood-lot care and harvesting.

The event featured techniques in precision tree felling, cutting logs to mill specifications, and safely removing logs from the wood lot using single horses and teams.

Some thirty farmers and wood lot owners explored techniques using horses rather than tractors to harvest the wood. Discussions included skid road design on boggy or swampy terrain, when and where animal power is appropriate, and when a tractor should be an alternative.

"It has been proven that using horses on the land is more economical and far easier on the environment that fuel driven machinery," said horse trainer Rebekah Bailey, originally from Fair Winds Farm in Brattleboro and now working at the Perry Farm.

A light snow fell over the crisp air in the Perry Farm wood lot and several inches of made dragging the logs out of the woods easy for the horses. Several experienced answered answer questions and offered tips to those thinking of exploring the lower cost of harvesting and tending for their wood lots using equestrian horse-power instead of motorized horse-power.

The event was co-hosted by Fair Winds Farm of Brattleboro. Draft horse workshop instructor Jay Bailey was on hand to answer questions as well as horse trainers Rebekah Bailey and Neil Perry. Forester and m owner Bob Capoblanco from Washington, Vermont, show how to get the best logs from a precision-felled 75-foot black cherry tree (by instructor Reuben Bailey).

Registration donations were given to benefit the Draft Animal Power Network.

horses at work
© 2011 Gordon Alexander

copyright © 2010 Gordon Alexander/log cabin chronicles/2.11